Introduction to the Law of Trade Secrets (SC)

Section 1ZO, Spring 21

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 15/17
Credits: 1

Course Description

In the past several decades, economic activity has grown increasing reliant on knowledge of complex technological and business practices and processes. Many of those processes and practices are protected primarily through trade secret law because other forms of intellectual property, such as copyrights and patents, are either inapplicable or ineffective. The economic value of trade secrets has thus been increasingly tremendously in modern world, with virtually all major companies seeking to protect extensive amounts of commercially valuable information and knowledge. In the last five years, the increased importance of trade secret law has led not only to several high profile pieces of litigation (such as the widely publicized fight between Google and Uber over self-driving car technology) but also to the enactment of the federal “Defend Trade Secrets Act,” which makes trade secret law a matter of federal law. This short course will examine the traditional law of trade secrets and the new federal statute with the goal of familiarizing students with the basic theoretical and doctrinal underpinnings of this vibrant and dynamic area of legal practice. Grading will be based on based primarily (80%) on four short commentary papers of 800 to 1000 words (approximately 3 to 5 pages of typed, double-spaced text). Twenty percent (20%) of the grade will be based on class participation. The class does not require a technical degree; indeed, given the very diverse forms of information and knowledge held as trade secrets, a technical degree likely provides no benefit in learning the law of the field.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Midterm Type (if any): None
Description: None

Final Type (if any): None
Description: None
Final Exam Notes:


Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Students will be required to submit four short commentary papers of 800 to 1000 words (approximately 3 to 5 pages of typed, double-spaced text).

Other Work
Students are required to participate in class, including answering polling questions. Class participation will account for 20% of the grade.

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Notes: Twenty percent (20%) of the grade will be based on class participation.

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the Writing Requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

General Information

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens:
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: